Tuesday, 17 June 2014

KIMONO.

In two weeks time I will be leaving St Andrews behind. It's a very scary concept because, as bored as I can get of this tiny town, in the past four years I have spent more time here than anywhere else. Fondly known as the Bubble, it's very easy to become completely unaware of the outside world and, as exciting as change can be, it comes hand in hand with stress and worry about the future. It's very hard to get your head round...

A few days ago I was contacted by Raise.com to write a piece of my favourite summer pieces. Raise.com are a gift-card marketplace that allows you to sell unwanted gift-cards, but also to buy them at a discounted price. As a broke graduate I'm always looking for ways to save money and gift-cards are a fantastic idea if you have a tricky friend to buy for.* They're running an interactive campaign called 'Closet Swap' to showcase how bloggers transition their own personal style through from Spring to Summer. The campaign will be running until June 20th, so if you want to get involved now is your chance!

Because I did a summer post a few days back a friend (hey Emma...) suggested I write about a piece that has long been in my wardrobe, but that is also at the forefront of fashion today- The Kimono.

Seen across the high-street in New Look, River Island, Boohoo and Asos, Literally meaning 'a thing to wear' in traditional Japanese costume they have come to mean a t-shaped, full-length garment which is tied at the back by an obi. However in fashion today they can be a variety of lengths, fabrics and colours and are extremely versatile.

I personally enjoy wearing them for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they are an easy layer to throw on if it's too hot for a jacket but you still need a little coverage. Secondly, there is something wonderfully flamboyant about a kimono, especially a full-length one. And finally they have the ability to transform an otherwise dull outfit.

 The kimono in question here belongs to the aforementioned Emma who was wondering how to style it. It's sheer black with a velvet floral overlay and tassels, which sounds like the very epitome of opulence. To balance out the kimono I would wear an all black outfit- high-waisted denim shorts, a black cropped top and black Chelsea boots.

 This particular kimono has featured several times on this blog and remains one of my favourite pieces in my ever expanding wardrobe. It's a thick cotton so is cool to wear in the heat and stops me from burning. Due to its length it is perfect for throwing over a smart dress in the evenings, or for just bumming round town. I like to wear it with a simple base, like jeans and a t-shirt, but with a hideous amount of beaded necklaces that I've picked up over the years layered on top.

Whereas I'd usually recommend a sleek silhouette beneath the volume of a kimono there are always exceptions. This short kimono I picked up from H&M last year is the same length as my black skater dress and I love to belt it to emphasise the swish of the skirt. Make sure your kimono of choice has enough fabric as this could constrict otherwise.

I love the drama of a kimono. In this outfit the bright pink of the silk kimono contrasts with the rigid and perhaps conservative stripes of the dress.

The kimono is virtually weightless and so is ideal for summer layering if you don't want to live in vest tops and shorts.

I hope you're all having a good start to the week and enjoying the current heatwave...

MMM
x


*This post is inspired by the Raise.com 'Closet Swap' interactive movement. This company is only available in the States (despite living in the depths of Scotland I do have a few Stateside readers), but I hope they consider expanding to the UK soon... Naturally I am yet to try them out due to this but the reviews online are favourable and I think it is a fabulous idea... Though this is the first collaboration post I have done, I feel that marketing through the blogosphere is an innovative way  to advertise as recommendations are a key incentive in deciding to purchase a previously untested item.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

#FASHIONKIDS

Two posts in a row may be a rarity for me but, unlike most bloggers, I rarely plan blogs and instead post when the inspiration takes me...

Yesterday while scrolling through Instagram I rediscovered Fashion Kids, a wonderful collective of the most stylish children on the web. I was never this stylish as a child, hell I'm not even this stylish now.

Here's a few of my favourites.

 @jsuchil353
This is a perfect festival look- the fringed bag, the messy braid, the crochet. It's very Vanessa Hudgens. And I have serious hair envy.
 @kimberly_dodge
This is a summery look I'm definitely going to try to emulate. I love the fringed boots mixed with the fringed bag and hair braid, but all on a neutral base. It stops the look from becoming too costumey.

 @littlemissnaya
Black skater skirt, knee highs and a plaid shirt? So simple and a look that echoes some of the most seasoned bloggers.
 @luisafere & @gavinduh
I feel that these two would be right at home on the streets of St Andrews. Smart separates and beautiful tailoring, I'm loving the combat boots and skinny tie combo.
 @mybellepapillon
This look is so timeless and would be just at home on an elderly married couple as it does on this pair of twins. I love her spotty orange coat with the tweed underneath and I love his layered blacks and blues.
 @nikiln
I love the monochrome highlighted by the splashes of burgundy. The necktie is such a fantastic detail.
 @rubielovee
I genuinely wish I looked even an iota as cool as she does. Between the customised band t-shirt, the black beanie and the knee highs I actually can't get over how awesome she looks.
 @souzamaria
If I could wear dungarees I would wear this everyday as my appreciation for striped shirts with denim and a top knot knows no bounds...
I love how the all blue palette is broken up by splashes on colour in the trousers and the shirt. Now I've always loved a coloured trouser (see here) and the burnt orange is a great twist on the standard red.

I hope you're all having a good day.

MMM
x

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

SUMMER.

Summer has finally come to St Andrews. That said, it is beautiful and baking until two when it suddenly decides to piss down with rain till the evening. As I've no doubt mentioned in previous summer posts I struggle in the heat and this transfers to my fashion choices. Below are a few of my current favourite items.


 I bought both the shirt and the bag on a rushed town trip dodging the rain. I'm loving linen items as they let me 'breathe' and in charity shops they are usually incredible cheap in comparison to their retail prices. The leather backpack was bought on a whim after seeing several vloggers on YouTube picking them up at thrift shops. Little bit in love. Going to pair them with my burnt orange corduroy shorts and Docs.

This H&M dress has been a staple in my summer wardrobe for a few years. A thin cotton, it covers my bra which is rare in high street pieces and sits just above the knee. It's super flattering and I love pairing it with my fringed cowboy boots. I'm also loving Milkmaid braids this summer as they stop the humidity getting to my hair.

 I love pairing these thick cotton All Saints cropped high-waisted trousers with cropped t-shirts for a more masculine summer look. I like to give a feminine twist with a silk scarf in the hair. My current favourite is a small Liberty print I picked up when I was home.

 In an attempt to cool down I like to get my legs out whilst covering up with a large shirt on top. Over the years I have acquired several of my father's Thomas Pink shirts with ripped collars or tattered cuffs. I love wearing them with a slicked back bun and a neck-scarf. Docs toughen up a relatively sleek look.
This look is a combination of a raspberry Hobbs linen cropped shirt that I wish I had bought and a pair of high-waisted satin shorts from French Connection that I picked up from TKMaxx. Unlike most high-waisted shorts these actually reach my waist and have wonderful frills on the pockets. I would wear this with my Topshop wedge shoe-boots. 

The following images are people I saw on my trip back up to Scotland a while back...
 This elderly woman's entire outfit was in shades of green. She looked adorable, but my sketch turned out more akin to a Peter Doig painting... As someone who would ideally only wear blue and camel I loved her dedication to a colour.

Similarly I loved this all black outfit. This girl looked like a band groupie with her perfectly worn leather jacket, Jack Daniels t-shirt and skinny jeans. The matching black leather holdall just bought the whole look together.

I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I struggling to pack four years worth of hoarding into boxes...

MMM
x

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

CFDA

Despite my best intentions to post I've struggled to find the motivation to sit down and draw but this morning the photos from last night's CFDA awards appeared and I had to get a few sketches down.

 Blake Lively in Michael Kors- She looked every inch the 1960s siren in this gorgeous minidress and satin headband.
 Coco Rocha in Christian Siriano- This looks a little like an illustration of the Ascot scene in my Fair Lady. Something about the ensemble didn't quite make sense to me, it may have seen the deconstructed hat that clashed with the graphic flow of the skirt.
 Emmy Rossum in J Mendal- I loved the fit and colour of this dress. The cut-outs, the contrasting black and chartreuse, the asymmetric hem; there was a lot going on but it came together well.
 Lupita Nyong'o in Suno- Most websites seem to have this look on their Worst Dressed. However I like that she chose a cropped top and trouser combination instead of the slightly tacky gowns worn by other attendees (sorry Heidi Klum...) I also love the colour scheme and stripes, especially because she teamed it with vibrant blue eye shadow and glasses.
 Marion Cotillard in Dior- Despite several actresses being criticised for unflattering wardrobe choices, no mention was made of the winged attachments on Cotillard's Dior dress. They sit slightly too low on the chest to flatter the bust, yet sit too high to flatter the waist. However I love her and she is one of the few actresses who manages to wear quirky outfits without looking overpowered by the garment.
Rihanna in Adam Selman- Rihanna rocked up to receive her Fashion Icon Award in a crystal encrusted turban, white fur stole and very sheer dress. I find it odd that there was a surprising lack of backlash over this, but at the same time I'm glad. That said, I'm sure if Miley Cyrus turned up in this the media wouldn't have had the same reaction...

I'm spending today enjoying my final month in St Andrews and attempting to sell some hand-painted cards. I have the time to take commissions, so if you're interested either email me at missmillicentmae@gmail.com or comment below...

Have a great day!

MMM
x